|Min OS X: 10.4|
Mac OS X: 10.4.11 | CPU: Intel 1.6 Ghz
Motorcycles are often known for their dangerous and thrilling characteristics. The rush of going at high speeds without the metal shell surrounding you attracts many consumers to buy into this experience. However, for most of us (me included) we stay away from the two wheeled beast in favor of a much safer option. And thus, our dreams of exhilaration vanish...
This is where the motorcycle driving simulations step in, recreating at least some of the fun of riding. French developer Delphine Software International attempted to achieve this through the creation of Moto Racer. The franchise made its debut in 1997, first on the PC and then on the Playstation later in the year. As described on Gamespot, “the original Moto Racer capably blended the two distinct disciplines of superbike and motocross into one explosive package and proved to be one of the first truly satisfying PC motorcycle racing games ever produced”
Fast forward to today and we have seen the unfortunate closure of Delphine Software International and a significant change to which platforms dominate the gaming space. However, in these troubled times there are still many individuals interested in keeping the franchise alive.
Anuman Interactive, another French developer, decided to step up to the plate and have a swing at creating a 15th Anniversary edition for this classic for both the Mac and iOS. In the process of doing so there have been a number of changes made to the original gameplay as well as some enhancements. Can the game recapture the audience which adored the franchise originally?
As illustrated in the earlier quote from Gamespot, there seemed to be nothing but high praise about the gameplay. You would think that after 15 long years of development in this industry that there would be some improvement along the way. And, in some regards, elements of excellent gameplay do remain a part of the new edition.
When playing the three different modes, I definitely could see the appeal of the original game. Hugging the apexes with AI opponents alongside, through the mountainous regions as well as the arid desert maps, is a blast in the GP Motorcycle mode. In Super Cross mode players encounter a number of obstacles which, depending on how they control their speed, can work both to their advantage and disadvantage. The last mode is Freestyle, a Lone Wolf option which gives players a chance to exercise tricks on the indoor dirt tracks. It's sort of like a one man Crusty Demons Extreme Stunts show. By executing the right moves while airborne, players can thrash their AI opponent's stunt point score.
Moto Racer also allows players to view the action from under the driver's helmet. This first-person mode is exhilarating. It brings players even closer to the action. Being up-close and personal with opponents in the more difficult levels is great, and offers a notion of what it must be like to ride one of the mechanical beasts.
Initially, the pure gameplay is a great deal of fun. But, when I spent extended periods of time going through the challenges I saw a great deal of repetitiveness. Since this version of the game is for the Mac platform, it's likely players will spend a little more time in a single session then their iOS counterparts. Unfortunately, the task of beating opponents does become tedious during longer sessions, especially when the levels are repeated. In direct contrast to the opening cinematic only a few of the overexposed images depicted are actually in the game. This results in the same vanilla tracks being used over and over again. This isn’t so bad for the Superbike tracks, as they at least change environments twice, but the dirt bike tracks stay the same, give or take changes to a few corners. I found myself asking in the Super Cross arena, “Didn’t I just play this?”